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Support with Employment Tribunals & Unfair Dismissal in Sittingbourne

If you’re looking for employment law solicitors in Kent, contact Ratcliffes today. We are local, experienced employment solicitors covering Sittingbourne, Faversham, Sheerness, Gillingham and Rainham.

Employment Tribunals/Unfair Dismissal


Our fees for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal, or for other claims arising out of your employment or its termination are estimated to be:

Complexity Estimated Fees

(excluding VAT & Disbursements*)

Days at Employment Tribunal
Simple £10,000 – £14,000 1 – 3
Medium £14,000 – £22,000 4 – 5
High £22,000 – £40,000 5 – 10

Where we are defending a claim i.e. acting for the employer rather than the employee additional work is required including preparing the papers (known as the ‘bundle’) for the Tribunal.  Costs are therefore more likely be towards the higher estimate.

Factors that could make a case more complex:

  • If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim
  • Where the opposing party is a litigant in person
  • Making or defending a costs application
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is or was an employee
  • The number of witnesses and documents
  • Whistleblowing
  • Claims involving allegations of discrimination


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court and tribunal fees and fees payable to expert witnesses. These costs will be in addition to our fees set out above.  We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. All disbursements must be paid for in advance before they are incurred.


It will usually be necessary for a barrister (Counsel) to represent you at Court.  The costs for Counsel vary dependent upon factors such as how experienced they are and how long your tribunal lasts, and Counsel’s fees will be in addition to our fees.  A guide to their charges, including preparation for the hearing, is:

Complexity Counsel’s Fees

(excluding VAT)

Additional Daily Charge after first day of Hearing

(excluding VAT)

Simple £2,000 £1,000 – £1,500
Medium £5,000 £1,000 – £1,500
High £8,000 £1,000 – £1,500

You should be aware that Counsel’s total fees can be as much as or more than our fees for your case.  We will get a quote from Counsel for their fees before we instruct them and agree this with you. Payment for Counsel’s fees will be required before work is carried out.

It is extremely unusual for costs to be awarded in Employment Tribunal cases.  You are therefore very unlikely to be able to recover any of your costs from the other party.

Key stages

The fees set out above cover the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change)
  • Entering into pre-claim negotiations and/or early conciliation to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
  • Preparing claim or response
  • Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
  • preparing or considering a schedule of loss
  • Preparing for and attending a Preliminary Hearing
  • Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
  • preparing bundle of documents
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
  • agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
  • Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel

The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fee may be reduced. You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged on your individual needs.

How long will my matter take?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 4-8 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take six months to a year, depending on court or tribunal listing arrangements, and may take longer. This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.


The information contained in this document is provided to give you an idea of what your costs will be.  Each case is different and specific to the individual and their circumstances. If you instruct us to act on your behalf the information contained in our client care letter and terms and conditions, together with any updates that may become necessary in light of additional/changed information, will supersede any information contained in this document.